My talk today with Vivien Garnès of Upfluence opens up the possibilities of influencer marketing. The efficacy of it became apparent to Vivien from his own experience in selling ties, a process that turned out to be much more effective once bloggers were involved. We're at a point where you don't need to involve yourself with influencers who have millions of followers, I mean, you can it's just not the starting point anymore; not with the likes micro-influencers and even nano-influencers at your disposal.
As an entrepreneur with a background in eCommerce and marketing, Vivien has gone from D2C to cracking the code to successful influencer marketing. Vivien is the Co-founder and Co–CEO of NYC-based startup Upfluence, the leading social commerce software for eCommerce brands that helps businesses sell online and on social media via creators.
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[00:00:00] Vivien Garnès: We're seeing that a lot of smaller people who are not necessarily doing this full-time, not necessarily doing this professionally, but they're a lot more passionate, they're a lot more authentic. And these start to get the marketing dollars as well. Right. It's super exciting. It's a super exciting space to be in as an entrepreneur. Everything changes all the time. So the opportunities were rising every day virtually. Yeah, couldn't be happier.
[00:00:27] Joseph: My talk today with Vivien Garnes of Upfluence opens up the possibilities of influencer marketing. The efficacy of it became apparent to Vivian from his own experience in selling ties, a process that turned out to be much more effective once bloggers were involved. We're at a point where you don't need to involve yourself with influencers who have millions of followers. I mean, you can, it's just it's not the starting point anymore. Now with the likes of micro influencers and even nano influencers at your disposal.
Vivien Garnes, it is good to have you here in Ecomonics, how are you doing today? How are you feeling?
[00:00:59] Vivien Garnès: I'm doing wonderful joseph. Thank you so much for having me.
[00:01:02] Joseph: And I'm grateful to have you on as well. Today, we are going to be adding a new piece to the e-comm puzzle and, um, it's attached. One of the things that I talk about with the ecom puzzle is that, you know, each piece brings his own significance to it, but we also lose sight of the fact that in order for it to fit. There are other pieces that have to be attached to it.
So hopefully I won't, I don't drop that thread and you'll, my audience will understand what I mean by that when we get into this, uh, just a quick bit of housekeeping, um, to my audience, I'm probably going to sound a little bit different today. I was in a situation where they were drilling right outside my apartment.
So is either a going to the echoest room that I can find in the apartment or deal with the drilling. And so we're going with echo today and I have already warned to my guest that hopefully nobody who comes in to play the game of cribbage, because that's going to be awkward. We'll just cut and forget about this. Housekeeping out of the way.
So, first question, tell us what you do and what are you up to these days.
[00:02:00] Vivien Garnès: My name is Vivien, as you said, uh, I'm 33 years old. I'm French, as you can probably hear non-native English speaker. Apologies for that. I'm the father of almost two kids. Um, uh, because, uh, my wife is nine months of pregnancy and the husband of one, and my wife hates that joke.
Uh, I have more of a business background. Uh, I studied in a business school, both in the UK and in France, and I'm actually wrapping up a part-time PhD as of right now. And I'm calling from the beautiful city of France. Uh, so that that's sort of me personally, uh, on a more professional side of things.
I'm the co-founder and co CEO at Upfluence, and we're an influencer marketing software company. And our mission is to help e-commerce companies in general to sell more online. And we do, uh, do do that via the prison of social media creators. So in a way, I guess we have a very similar mission as fair similar objectives and the beautify, uh, meaning that we help e-commerce growth, even though we do it via different means.
[00:02:56] Joseph: It's rather significant means as well. Especially if you look at the emergence of, I mean, you have, you have social media that emerged. I would give it what, like 10 years, but it continues to emerge even within itself in terms of accessibility and also in terms of. Uh, its ability to hold on to people's attention.
Um, at one point it was just images and posts. Now it's interactive experiences. You have people who are shooting in 360 degrees. You have stories, you have narrative, you have arcs and it's continued to reflect. The human experience far more accurately than at one point. Um, I'm, I'm, I'm letting a few threads just, uh, out into the ether.
Um, cause one thing that comes to mind is, you know, you hear about w what you see on, on social media. Isn't always a reflection of reality sometimes. You know, is exaggerate something like that. And I think that's actually, I'm diminishing over time because it is so easy for people to pick up the phone, um, turn it on and do a story.
And then I flick it off. And there's not much to exaggerate there because all they did is just briefly capture up one of their life or something like that. So I'll just put some of my opening thoughts, um, and anything there that you'd want to comment on. And then I'm going to hit you with my next question.
[00:04:08] Vivien Garnès: First on the evolution of social media and the landscape in general, you're absolutely right. When we started Upfluence in 2013, it was all about blogs. You know, that, that sounds kind of Chronicle. And to, to, to say about where today, but still, you know, there, that's how, that's how we changed. Um, and. Not only have we transitioned to social media, we've changed content formats.
We've changed almost everything, but the platforms and where are we really going? Is social commerce. So a very much a shoppable experience, right? When you can buy directly in the product and the story swiping up and, uh, you know, Instagram checkout coming into play and all this fun stuff that really have changed that what used to be very long form educational now is very short form ephemeral and shoppable. Right? So whole different ballgame. I couldn't agree more with you now in terms of, uh, sort of the ephemeral and nature of it. I'm really that's exactly right. In no way. Ironically, we're almost getting back to what TV used to be.
Uh, you know, when you look at the, you know, all of these shoppable, uh, TV shows like QVC, all that fun stuff, uh, We're almost getting back to that because the continent, the content is becoming so etheral, you know, the window of opportunity is so short and they're almost getting back to that life. And that's why live content is emerging so much as well.
Right. And that's been ideally, one of the fundamental psychological successes of it is that, uh, you know, uh, FOMO, right? Fear of missing out, oh my God, this amazing opportunity and being presented with it's going to disappear. The window of opportunity is closing. So that's definitely a big, a big factor as well.
And the last, which was more, uh, in the background of your question, but, uh, it's the size of the opportunity. Uh, influencer marketing used to be an extremely niche thing. Uh, now it's huge. It's a multi-billion dollar industry. It's still growing over 40% year over year. So it is, it is massive. What I'm going to say is that I believe the value is sort of trickling down.
So what is arguable in politics seems to be true in, uh, in influencer marketing, meaning it used to be that almost exclusively, the marketing dollars were going to the bigger influencers, right? The, the very top of the distribution tail of influencers. Um, now where we're starting to see is that, uh, brands are going done that long tail, right?
There are working with influencers, which are a lot more smaller, a lot more niche, but who can yield very strong performance as a result, right? So we're seeing that a lot of smaller people who are not necessarily doing this full-time, not necessarily doing this professionally, but they're a lot more passionate, more authentic.
And these start to get the marketing dollars as well. Right. Um, so I think that's a very interesting development and all of this agenda day two to wrap up a little bit, my monologue, um, it's super exciting. It's a super exciting space to be in as an entrepreneur. Everything changes all the time. So there are opportunities arising every day, virtually and, uh, yeah, couldn't be happier.
[00:06:55] Joseph: There's one association or one connection that I made in, in your description, um, relating it to, to television. If you look at the way television is structured. So usually a TV shows, scripted shows, you know, you have your, a story and the, and that's where, as you say, the majority of the resources. You know, time is devoted to, to what, whoever happens to be the lead character for the episode, then you have your B plots.
Maybe you have C plots D plots and each one of these while significant in their own way. And perhaps they connect to the larger story. They don't have the same level of resources. And, and I'm seeing a, a similarity here in, I guess, the different hierarchies or the different, um, places that influences are now.
You still have like the. Influencers you have, you know, you have your B plots, you have your C plots and you have your D plots. And what I think is as the ability for the top level influencers have more ability to well influence. Um, there's so many resources that they'd actually can't hold on to all of it.
And so that's where I think the trickling is coming in, where now you have the ability for people in the B level of influence to actually have the same efficacy that the A's used to have. And so while the top is continuing to grow, I, what happens is that continues to give each, uh, uh, part of the ladder below that more influence than they previously had.
[00:08:16] Vivien Garnès: So I believe that's exactly right. And that, to add to what you just said, I think there's a lot more tactical reasons as well that accelerated that trend. A couple of thoughts here. It used to be that. You know, the largest influencers were the only ones you could easily find, right? Because other search features of all social media platforms or on Google issue or looking for blogs, it was very tough, heavy, right?
And he was mostly, we're always finding the top X influencers in that space. What happened is that most of the brands were reaching out to only these influencers and that created a huge inflation on the price as well because of our slowly stated day in, day out, we could afford to be very picky and it had all the bargaining power as a result.
When someone's starting to question the efficiency of the marketing dollars being spent on these guys. Right? Because on the other side of the equation, we know that a lot of social media platforms, the social, the engagement rates tends to deteriorate as the size of the community. And so there we're in this situation where the supply was getting more expensive, uh, you know, every day or every month, uh, and at the same time to performance was decreasing.
So they were in a little bit of a dilemma. And the alternative working with small influencers was virtually impossible at the time, because it was very hard to identify influencers and working with. 10 influencers. We've a hundred thousand followers was 10 times the work I was working with one influencer with a million.
So they had sort of these overhead costs, considerations to have as well. All of these change progressively took some time, but now with companies like Upfluence, self, shameless plug right here, uh, you know, we can really, um, the overhead caused the marginal costs of working. We want an extra influencer.
And so it becomes possible all of a sudden to work with hundreds or even thousands of influencers who have siphons and followers, 10,000 followers, 20,000 followers, right? Micro or nano influencers, I think a few weeks ago, I heard the word Pico influencers, right? So we're always getting a, getting a smaller and smaller in scale.
And that really, uh, combined with a higher engagement rate, comparatively more authentic content, but really, uh, uh, completely shifted of the ratio of advertisers and e-commerce companies were facing, which is a much greater performance for much lower costs. And so they were instantly ROI positive.
[00:10:28] Joseph: I think this is as good a time as any to, uh, to ask you the, uh, the Ecomonics, uh, tradition does like three or four traditional questions.
And, um, so for your software, uh, up fluence, um, what I want to know is the time of its inception in this creation, what perspective was it having on the market? What problem did it identify in particular that needed solving?
[00:10:51] Vivien Garnès: And it's a little bit of an embarrassing story, but, um, um, I'm going to tell you how we got to the eureka moment.
Um, so to speak. So right out of business school, uh, I started working in a startup here in France. Um, great first job, but I was working directly with entrepreneurs and their entrepreneurial drive was very contagious. I thought I'm going to start, um, a little side gig, um, which I did with, with a friend. Um, so we started a couple of e-commerce companies were selling products online, and one of which the main one was probably selling neck ties, right?
Yeah. Looking for a product that was, uh, no sizes, early tool, textile expertise, easy to ship. And so we went for neckties, uh, in spite of the zero market research. And the fact that there's no one wear size anymore. I think the both of us are pretty good examples of that. Casing points. We had.
[00:11:40] Joseph: You, you caught me on an off day. I do wear them on occasion.
[00:11:42] Vivien Garnès: Okay. You're a better man than I am. Um, and, um, yeah, case in point, we had a made a thousand beautiful silk ties in Italy. Uh, and we try to, we set up a website, we try to sell them and we could not sell them in a positive manner because the market was very fragmented.
Acquisition costs were super high, so it was impossible to be all right. Positive. So, uh, we had this box with 1000 ties sitting in my living room and with all right, let's try to be decent entrepreneurs and find other ways to say. And we tried a number of things. Most of which failed quite spectacularly.
One thing that did work, um, was to ship them, to bloggers, beg them basically to write to review, but review would drive traffic. Traffic would turn into clients. Clients would then, you know, even do repeat purchases. And we really started to see the unit economics of it all. And, um, that's when we thought, wow, this is great.
You know, even though it was not, the term had not been coined yet, uh, influence marketing was not yet a thing still. We, we still have at this work. Potentially every commerce company in the world could benefit from this, but we also identified a few problems along the way. Number one, it was super time consuming.
I was literally spending my nights on Google, trying to find new blogs, keeping a very monstrous spreadsheets in which I had. The email address is the postal addresses. You know, I was spending my, my nights, uh, harassing them basically after having sent the products who I to reduce. It was very, very time-consuming and it could very well be automated, at least streamline that first number one and number two. Uh, we ended up making a few mistakes, sending a tie and a hundred euros to a blogger who would generate a 27 sessions and zero conversions. And, and, uh, you know, at the time I, we didn't have, you know, engagement right followers. It was a little bit more of a feeling and we thought, well, this is very old page.
Wouldn't it be nice to have more of a data-driven solution to offer e-commerce companies the choice to choose which influencers we want to work with in what capacity and how, and, um, A plus B equals C that's when we had to aha moment that, you know what, let's start a company, a software company, that space. And that was, uh, 9 years ago.
[00:13:47] Joseph: I know you listened to a couple of, uh, episodes of mine, which I am grateful for. And so I don't know if you happen to listen to one or I actually just use textiles as an example, anytime I just need to say like, oh, I'm just going to totally pivot and just get into textiles.
I don't know why ever since high school for me, I always thought it was funny. It was just like, oh yeah, I'm just going to get the textiles is completely out of, uh, out of left field pivot and whatever my career is. So, uh, it's, it's just, it's it's amusing to me to, to have it brought up, uh, actually in context.
There's a lot of terms here, many of which we know there's also some terms here that we could stand to have a little more clarity on. So one thing I want to set the record straight on is the distinguishing, I guess, influencing versus affiliate marketing. And on top of that, I happen to think that if I were to drop a Venn diagram, there would probably be some crossover in the middle.
[00:14:39] Vivien Garnès: An influencer is a social media user who has a following and who has some editorial line, some voice about a topic, right? It's in a broader sense of the term, but that's what he would. And then that influencer can have a number of revenue. You can sell sponsored posts. In which case he gets paid a flat fee for a search and content, uh, that he has proposed.
Uh, it can be even products. It can be invited to events or maybe not. So in the age of COVID, but, uh, once upon a time it was possible. Uh, so it can be a number of value proposition in one of these value propositions that the brand or e-commerce company can offer the influencer is to have some sort of a revenue sharing model, meaning, Hey, here's a coupon code.
Here's a track link is something to actually. And he sells that you would bring to you personally. And for each of these, you wouldn't be paid either a split for a flat fee or a percentage, a commission on the sales and that type of arrangement, mixed influencer and affiliates. So something that affiliates may not be influencers. Uh, you know, they might have other, uh, audiences, uh, to monetize, uh, in an athlete capacity. That being said more and more influencers are hopping on an athlete had been vegan, which is, I believe a great development in industry and was probably accelerated by COVID. And the sense that a lot of influencers lost a lot of, uh, partnerships with brands, uh, for a little while because marketing budgets were frozen.
And so it had to be a little creative, uh, to make up for lost revenue. And, uh, so now we're in a situation where I think it's the best possible way to align the interests of both the brand and the influencer, meaning, Hey, if you sell more, you'll make potentially a lot more than any, you know, capping at a few hundred bucks, we would have done for a sponsored post and the same time it minimizes the risk for brand meaning, you know, I'm not going to pay an up front, uh, uh, investment for something that may or may not really yield results.
Significant overlap in the Venn diagram between the two that's absolutely right. One of them is more of a definition of, you know, the characteristic of a one social media user. The other one is more as a revenue model, a strategy that can be implemented between the brand and influencer.
[00:16:47] Joseph: And see, this is what I was saying at the beginning about if you're going to put a piece of the e-comm puzzle into the puzzle, the corresponding pieces need to attach to it, which means that there has to be some significance as to why this piece fits there.
And that's where I was going with this. So, you know, you talk about, um, I was, I was surprised to, but I guess now that I'm thinking about it, I shouldn't have been there there's much more of a significant crossover between affiliate marketing and influencer marketing, um, so much so that the two have, uh, or the influencers transitioned into affiliate marketing, given the circumstances.
Now this next one, every once in a while, I'm going to ask a silly question, but I happen to think it's the kinds of questions. You know, a lot of people have on their mind for me, the stigma of an influencer is as soon as I hear that word, I think, you know, a model or trying on clothing. Uh, and my point of view doesn't seem to expand too far beyond that.
So what I would like to hear is what are some of the, some instances, examples of whether you might not expect of an influencer when they, when somebody describes one, I mean, talking about people maybe are influencer and the text-based influencer in a and development textiles, like where we're at, perhaps the influencer expands that people did I think it would.
[00:18:04] Vivien Garnès: So it's true that, uh, industries are much attached to something. Verticals, the beauty industry, the fashion industry, consumer technology space, like all of these sort of makes sense because we've seen a lot in, you know, virtually impossible to go on YouTube without seeing, you know, any of these, some unboxing video or some tutorial, makeup tutorial, and things like that.
Influencer marketing as a mechanic works very well for any consumer oriented industry, including some, a lot less obvious ones. And I'm going to tell you a true story about one of our very first clients. When we launched the company, it was a company manufacturing set. Full horses, as it turns out that horses have a much thicker skin than other animals.
And so regular pseudo scopes, which worked for most animals for our own cows, for example, don't work on horses. And so that company was the crafting this, but the specific thing was looking for a, you know, a very specific audience of that, of course, but also, you know, people who work, who own horses or work, uh, you know, in the, uh, anything related to.
And we're like, wow, this is going to be a challenge. But turns out there were at the time, a lot of blogs or early Facebook pages work specifically that she did to people who were big time into horse riding and they happen to sell plenty and plenty of horses, sister scopes. So, you know, that can be some very unsuspected industries at that time, but now we phased them out a tiny bit.
We truly, as a plans have clients in a multiplicity of industries. Head food and financial services and like really anything that's a consumer oriented, even though it's not directly instinctive, that is going to work well for influencers.
[00:19:41] Joseph: I just want to acknowledge that I did laugh. When you said, when you said, uh, stethoscopes for horses. I was, I wasn't sure to expect a specificity. And so to hear just how I, I don't think you can niche very much further down than that. Yeah, absolutely. Different different breeds have different, uh, skin levels. I don't know. That's really as like, as niche as I, as I could have, uh, it could have guessed.
Actually something did come up. Um, this was one that I was keen on asking. You know, you said that this was one of your early clients. So given that, you know, you're a, a, a software slash a service, um, centered around marketing is how were you marketing this at the beginning? And, you know, were you able to apply the product that you were offering in such a way that, you know, your offer was actually helping you. I got positive cycle.
[00:20:38] Vivien Garnès: Great question. So as the, only if this translates well, but, uh, in French, we said that the Shoemaker always goes barefoot. Um, and, um, this was very true for us. We waited many, many years before doing influencer marketing for ourselves. Um, so eventually it didn't work, even though it's more in the B2B capacity.
There are, you know, a lot of, uh, social media users who share marketing tips and because our products, uh, is mostly addressed to SMBs, even though we have some great. Uh, enterprise clients as well, of course, but, um, you know, that, that has worked really well, but at the beginning we did not go that route all that much. And should we be tooled the term influencer marketing doesn't mean anything to anyone who was, uh, had barely been coined. Um, and at first people came to us because they thought, oh, you know, blogs are great. I'm going to buy backlinks. And we had all the SEO people coming at us at first. I thought it was, we thought, well, you know, that's unexpected, but up until the time where Google started to get very tough on, uh, uh so basically a purchase link should not have any SEO juice attached to it. So we should be denounced sort of, sort of speaking to code, meaning to have the no-follow tag. And so we thought, okay, we don't want to risk anything towards Google.
So we're going to send no tools of SEO people we're moving forward and we have to really figure out how to, how to make that work. Um, so I guess we went through the traditional, um, uh, marketing channels. Where for the longest time, almost exclusively inbound, meaning the way we marketed ourselves was, uh, on, you know, social media, SEO search, paid search, all that kind of stuff where we're very good.
Only in the more recent years we started to diversify a little bit more aggressively influencer marketing. I mentioned outbound as well. So meaning our reps reach out to perfect persona that we have identified a number of companies to invite them, to, to see our products, but also partnerships. Um, we have some product partnerships with some great companies like Shopify, like Klaviyo.
Um, so it'd be great in the e-commerce, uh, crowd of course, product partners. I'm more of a service per my partners. Uh, you know, people who want to deploy our solution in our clients in Mexico mission on, in the process and more referral partners as well. So we talked about affiliates. That's very much the B2B equivalent.
So the affiliates, um, so people who send us feeds and basically we close the leads. And so I would say that's pretty much the scope of how we go to market, how we market our products, um, fast forward to today.
[00:22:59] Joseph: You drew a distinction there that, um, uh, at least as far as my active memory goes, I have not recalled, uh, anyone bringing up before it should have, but it hasn't, which was, you know, the difference between inbound and outbound.
And I want to go too far into this because this is getting a little bit of a detour, but, um, I thought it was interesting. How so when you say inbound, it's about trying to reach. Out to people so that they come to you right to purchase.
[00:23:26] Vivien Garnès: How to make yourself easy, easy to find online. It's a way I like to define this.
[00:23:32] Joseph: The thing that sticks out to me is it's not as if someone is just, you know, uh, opening up a store and, and leave it open for foot traffic. I think that there's always some degree of. And outbound strategy, even within what would be considered inbound because you still have to run ads. You still have to have some sort of a presence.
So there's always some degree of reaching outwards in order to collect. So I think it might be about the delegation of how much are we expecting the inbound traffic relative to our, uh, our, our output versus a lot of output. And then we don't have to worry too much. We're not trying to reach that breadth of people.
We're just trying to reach, uh, you know, adapt that people. Because I think when you're doing outbound is more about here are specific targets. Here are the groups of people or people in specific that we definitely want to acquire.
[00:24:20] Vivien Garnès: That's exactly right. It's two very different mechanics for inbound. You don't really choose who finds you, which is a beautiful, in a way, because you have, you know, new, uh, cohorts of people coming at you, new job site tools, new types of companies, new industries. Um, and so that's great in the way that you don't limit yourself. That being said, you are limited by volume of people who search for specific keywords or search for your company or your industry in general.
So you're always dependent on that kind of outbound, like there's lesser volume. There's so many companies out there and worldwide, uh, that you can reach out to. This is great. You can really pinpoint who within these organizations and what kind of organization are you going to go after? Um, so, you know, it's a trade off.
Both of them have, uh, you know, upsides and downsides, but, uh, uh, when you manage to have two of these growth engines working really well for you, but, uh, uh, that's when it gets really fun.
[00:25:15] Joseph: Also, I meant brief aside, which is the, the term shoe maker, it tends to go barefoot, uh, yeah, that, that translates. But, um, the parallel based off my lived experiences, don't get high on your own supply. It's just, you know, there are different lived experiences. This is where I come from.
Now, my next question is about the it's about the inherent value of an influencer. Okay. So let's just say usually the go-to celebrity that I bring up in these cases is Robert Downey Jr.
No, he's, he's, he's popular enough that most people know who I'm talking about. Now he's a celebrity he's known for his work and film. So if let's just say for instance, he were to endorse something endorsements. That's, that's a word I used to hear a lot back then. Don't hear it so much anymore. He's being an influencer as a by-product of the work he's done.
So people recognize his, his value and they associate his value with whatever it is that he chooses to do with it. Like if he were to be an influencer of something where he worked to promote something, even if he just happens to bring up something in Twitter, like, Hey, I just had a Papa John's all of a sudden a Papa John's stock goes through the roof.
He wasn't even trying. And there's lots of celebrity. Uh, I can fit that bill, not necessarily just him. So when we talk about an influencer, where is their inherent value coming from? Is it specifically that because they are active on social media and they participate in conversation that they build their ability to influence base off that behavior? Or do they have secondary or tertiary pursuits or careers or some other way for them to gain. Uh, value that they can turn into influence.
[00:26:52] Vivien Garnès: There's a couple of ways to look at. Uh, first way, which is probably the more, uh, tactical way to look at it is to think as an influencer, it's all about number one, the size of a community may, should create number two, how engaged that community is.
And number three, how niche your content, and as a result of interests that the audience has in your content. And it's really a function of all of these three variables that makes the outputs, which is the value that the influencer can bring out there and to develop a little bit more, uh, if you compare two influencers who, uh, each have 100,000 followers, let's say, uh, that can yield extremely different results, right?
Let's say one of them has a very high engagement rate and you have a one, a very low engagement rates. That's already one difference, but even if they both have a 2% engagement rate, meaning the sum of the likes of generate an average per post plus to some of comments, if we, to about Instagram divided by the number of followers that say they both have 2%, what we've seen, what the data tells us is that these engagement, likes and comments are extremely inequality in value and an influencer who has a much higher concentration of comments, as opposed to likes.
They're actually a lot more likely and a lot more susceptible to drive higher. It's not exactly, uh, you know, surprising when you think about it, write a comment, shows a lot more involvement from your followers. So it proves that your content is more, maybe conversational or the audience is a lot more engaged.
It's also a lot harder to falsify. I have, there's a lot of fraud and that click, you know, click farms, uh, or, uh, robots that falsified clicks, um, Harder to have, you know, a well-structured comments that's generated by, uh, someone in China or, uh, or in that sense. So I think for all these reasons, um, that's sort of why we've seen this, but also breadth of the content of the editorial line of influencer.
You know, let's say a Robert Downey Jr. He speaks about a variety of things and the Papa John's pizza is not necessarily his forte from time to time, he will mention food. Uh, maybe his audience is not as receptive to Papa John's with two pizza or two food in general, that they might be to an influencer who exclusively speaks about Italian increasing.
Right. And so being extremely niche usually tends to correlate with a lot stronger, uh, profile. Because that's what the audience came here to see. And so, uh, even though they are, they might be a little bit more fatigued, meaning this is always the same thing. There's also a much stronger resonance with them as a result.
I hope that makes sense. But.
[00:29:22] Joseph: Yeah, that, that helps. I mean, so one thing to, uh, to point out here is, as you say, so if someone is passionate about food, they can go to someone much more significant in the, in the food space. So I think in order for again, Uh, our to have the maximum influences, he would probably have to promote a movie or a film or TV show something within his wheelhouse.
So say, Hey, I've, I've been in these movies. So I know, I know what good movies are. This movie, this is a good movie. And so that you have different results based off there. I mean, it's, it's rather, uh, uh, commonsensical now that I, uh, put all together in my head now you've been mentioning is, is data. And by the way, I appreciate any time that you say, uh, tasks.
It's like, oh, okay. Yeah. Now, now we're never getting into the, uh, the hard data here. So there are three data points that I picked up on when we were looking through your profile. And when I say we, I mean, my producer, Micah, she goes on to LinkedIn. I have paranoia regarding LinkedIn because LinkedIn tells you who's been wearing, like, I don't like that.
So she's, uh, she has a spine I don't, but anyways, so there was social data, brand affinity and authentic. Social data. I have to even based on what you've described so far, and I'm, you know, I have to put things together in my head. I can, I can guess what, what that is, but I'm probably gonna have to ask you what that is.
The one that stuck out to me other than that is authenticity. Authenticity is a tricky one to quantify. And you've touched on this a little bit. So for instance, we talk about, you know, vetting. You can tell more engagement based on comments rather than likes cause comments a little bit harder to fabricate.
It can be done, but I think you can, you can, you can smell a fabricated comment from a mile away, whereas you'd have like great or I love this or so we're gonna put all together. So first part social data. Can you, uh, tell, tell us what, what that is? Um, and if you have to bring up stuff you already mentioned, I'm sorry, but you know, I just need to have.
[00:31:14] Vivien Garnès: Yeah, it is a broader term to a lot of whatever. He talks about a number of floors, number of engagements, uh, engagement rates in general. Um, all of these metrics can be put in time series as well. So, you know, it's not meant to be seen as something static. It's very dynamic nature. So is that influencer growing month of amongst it's, uh, engagement or it's, uh, following base or is it not.
What's the best time of the day and day of the week for that influencer to post so we can maximize. So let's sort of encompasses all of this, but it's very, uh, I would say, uh, introductory authenticity can be quantified in two ways in my mind. Number one, um, the efficiency of content and the move to. We need to start with a ladder.
Let's say that an influencer publishes once a day versus one that publishes three times a day, they both have, uh, you know, the same social data. We have the same following the same engagement, same, uh, common to like ratio and so on and so forth. No one of them is getting. Uh, might as a, you know, some generate more engagements and more views and all that stuff.
If you publish is three times as much, however, broken down by post individually, the one that posts a little less we'll be performing less. Right. So saturation is an interesting thing when it comes to really analyzing an influencer to work with. Um, and because you want to see your posts as, as an e-commerce company, you bring to work with influencer on, is it going to be drowned in the vastness of contents?
Uh, or is it going to stand out? Because it's more one of many. So that's one thing that's very easy to measure and that's quite significant. The other one is the efficiency. So here, the way we approach this is we take your baseline, which is all the organic posts that influencer published. Meaning, uh, you know, when you post something, that's not mentioning any brands, not, um, and not a sponsored posting any way, capacity, shape, or form, you know, just something organic and this com content, uh, represents the baseline.
And then you can break down for any collaboration with the brands. Is it performing same, less, more than the baseline? And that's super interesting because we see very different behaviors. Depending on the influencer, but also depending on the brand they work with. And that's when you can really not only determined the authenticity of the content.
So it does that content, uh, is it liked by the followers more or less than, you know, uh, an authentic, the, an organic posts would be also, I'm going to touch base on the last thing, which is the brand infinity is a good fit for that influential or not, there's many ways it can be measured before you can compare the audience data of influencer versus the brand.
So, you know, are they both followed by a majority of, uh, uh, ladies over males? Or is it, uh, what kind of age bracket is it? Uh, 25 to 45 years old or, uh, where are they based? Are they old? Geo-located into the US as opposed to Canada or France or whatever. Right. So that already gives you a very good sense of how strong a fit is influencer with a brand in terms of the people these peak with, and then that translates more personally, did that piece of content perform well or not as a result. So, yeah, that would be the three pillars that you just mentioned. So I guess your producer, uh, did her homework.
[00:34:22] Joseph: And anything we throw at her, she just does a incredible, and she's going to listen to this part.
So, one more. Thank you, Micah. Thank you so much. I didn't think about this until the answer that you provided. So I don't know how I guess, uh, possible this is, but I guess I'm just going to put it out into either anyways. Could somebody, let's just say they're looking for a. Uh, a business to run. They don't have anything yet. They haven't, they haven't selected a product. They haven't selected a vertical. Could somebody go sign on to fluence and actually use the, uh, the, the data at hand to help figure out what might be a market in need of in need of service.
[00:35:03] Vivien Garnès: Short answer, yes. Longer answer, also yes. I'm going to zoom out before getting into the specifics. So if the scope of a product, is there again to end so we can do influencer discovery. So how do I, as an e-commerce company identify influencers, I want to work with influencer management. So how do I run campaigns or how do I use my IRM, my influencer relationship management to really manage influencers in large volumes at minimum effort.
Influenced your payout. So how do I pay influencers? Um, in the variety of currencies or in a variety of countries which comes with compliance issues and science or fourth, and last, how do I measure performance? How do I attract sales and how do I track ROI and all that fun stuff. So that's very much the, the scope of the product.
Now, if we focus on discovery, the way we can do influencer discovery is two ways. And I'm going to, uh, reuse towards that. Uh, you like, which is inbound. Inbound capacity is let's say I will connect my Shopify store to Upfluence. And thanks to that Upfluence will identify in your existing client base who's an influential client and that's going to be quite significant, uh, in a number of ways. But number one, because instead of starting from zero, you're going to start out a few hundred of thousands or depending on how big your customer base is. Number one and number two. This is going to be as authentic as it gets because these people, in spite of being influencers, they'll already love your store sufficiently to have to have spend basically their own money from their own pocket to buy your product free.
You've already bought your product. You may not have to resend one, so you might save time, save money as a, you know, some logistics and so on, or use that gain to be more generous with influencers or more incentivizing with influencers. And last speaking of incentives, we've measured that what we called inbound influence.
Our seven times more likely to accept an affiliate relationship. So not being paid something upfront, but being paid on success. If there are paid upfront, there would be basically cutting their price in half because already love your brand. So in a world where you really want to maximize your ROI as an e-commerce company, absolutely fantastic.
So that's the inbound way, the outbound way, which is more of a traditional legacy sort of way to do it. It's like media commerce will reach out to you chose an influencer. I will pitch you my business. I will pitch you a value proposition. You may or may not open my email. You may or may not respond, or you may or may not respond positively, but basically there's going to be some loss in my funnel of, uh, of activations.
Right. And so to get back to your question, that second scenario. Usually you have to create some sort of a query plan where you will type a number of keywords and number of brands. And that will give you, uh, some more filters for you. So which platforms am I looking on? What kind of audience do my influencers need to have?
What kind of language do they speak? And basically you can use these, um, semantic car meters to really try to narrow down opportunities that might be under served or over-represented in the influencer world. Because every time you will tweak a perimeter, we'll show you. Uh, snapshots of a database of influencers.
So let's say you change one keywords. The number of addressable results will go from 10,000 to 20,000 say, okay. So maybe if I narrow down on that new keyword, I've just added, I can actually try to see a very specific niche of influencers that might be underrepresented and in a world. Yes, I can definitely help you finding niche.
Uh, on the supply side, however, I would definitely second that with some more additional research, uh, are very existing products on Amazon. How well do they do? And there's a number of ways you can, uh, get tactical about your, um, about your product research.
[00:38:36] Joseph: There it is. Tactical. And I was, I was, I was waiting for it.
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Here's another one, again, this one fits more into the city, but you never know kind of question. So another broad reaching example. Uh, if you look at the world of wrestling again, once upon a time, people used to go in person, although I think they're opened up and now I lose track of that. And they are there, there's this, our RSS quantified by their ticket sales and their, and their revenue.
Um, but you know, even as far back as you know, the aid is in the nineties, uh, convinced sick man would say something like, you know, our goal is to put smiles on people's faces and that's a little bit harder to quantify, um, because you. I don't know if everyone who paid were really satisfied so much so that they'll come back and watch it again to bring this into, into our discussion here, is, is there a, a nebulous area that has been somewhat out of reach or difficult to quantify, you know, whether it's engagement or whether it's consumer satisfaction with the product? Is there a strategy or are there tactics that are being worked on to try to reach into this, um, uh, difficult space?
[00:40:08] Vivien Garnès: Again, there are two different angles, uh, to, to answer this in neuroma, things are harder to quantify. You can still look into how well received, uh, search and post is, uh, by an influencer by audience may by an influencer.
But how well is it received by his audience by doing some. Um, sentiment analysis on their comments. For example, she will get a sense of, are these comments negative, positive, neutral, and you know, how, how does that change from post to post? Is it better not as good as a baseline and things like that? Um, that's one way to sort of color to give some context to, to something that's truly in a miracle.
Um, that would be one thing, but more on the client side, which I believe was more of your question. The beauty of it is it's one for an e-commerce brand influencer marketing and just one more acquisition. Right. So if you already have your full stack and your full phone, all set up, and I guess one client purchases is on the checkout page.
You just completed the transaction, but it comes from an influencer marketing. Then you are, you are going to the shoe track properly. You are going to be able to see. All of these and say, okay, how well are these clients doing on the retention basis? What's the repeat purchase? What's the CLV, the customer lifetime value.
Is it higher, lower than my SEO clients? Is it higher level event? My Facebook ads, clients and so on and so forth. And I'm sorry, I'm going to go further. If you let's say you have a review campaign, a new use multiple, for example, in after purchase, we received a couple of emails to a leisure review, and we can compare the average of these reviews from influencer generated clients, as opposed to other clients.
And you really, when you work as a cohort basis, you can really see how well it does. And it's true that influencer marketing is unique in that way. That as an e-commerce company, you have, you have to give up control editorial control over this, right? The influencer knows what works and what doesn't work with their audience.
And so they sort of re reappropriate themselves with your messaging, with your product, and they pitch it to the origins and they phrase, you know, and that might not be how you as a business would phrase it. So various indeed a chance that there's some dissonance between. What do you want message usually is, and the message that influencer puts out.
So it's true and all the more important to track everything, to make sure that it's aligned and you're at least performing adequately compared to your baseline. And ideally over-performing because there's this thing psychologically that it's. More trustworthy to hear someone else tell something good about your business than yourself.
Right. It sounds silly, but, it's, uh, you know, proven by time. Um, and so as a third party, even though there's oftentimes a commercial relationship between the brand or for e-commerce influencer, um, this is still something that tends to work really well into convincing, uh, influencers to move down in consumer purchasing.
Um, yeah, I would say murder rates have a very strong stack, uh, had tried to have a very good sense of your unit economics and that's how you are going to be able to determine how good these influencers are doing.
[00:43:06] Joseph: And also, I just wanted to comment to that. I think that it comes across as the more commercial that comes across. I think the more of a, uh, of an ill fit that it is.
So let's just say I'm, you know, I'm selling, I'm selling shoes. And then I go to, uh, an influencer who prior to loves talking about it has a collection and is, and is a very natural fit for my product. I think the level of reception of commercial there is so minimal that I, that I, that it's such a smooth fit.
Whereas if you know, I'm starting to expect a little bit more behavior out of them to use the terms that I use. You, you mentioned the dissonance there between how they talk versus how I expect them to talk. Then it starts to come across. So. And this, this is me putting it together in my head. And you can tell me if I'm wrong, of course, but the more somebody gets, the more the, the, the audience that the consumer feels that it's coming across as marketing, the less successful that this connection is in the first place.
[00:44:07] Vivien Garnès: So I generally agree with a few exceptions, the way I look at this, it's very much a spectrum. Um, at the end of which on one hand is absolute control. Meaning the brand will send to influencers a very strict grief saying these are the words you're allowed to use. These other words I don't want you to use.
This is a, the time of day, day of which you're going to publish. These are the hashtags, this, this, this, um, and these are the do's and don'ts for a lot of brands. This is super important to IVR because there are in regulated industries, let's say to sell alcohol and they say online, you know, gambling's.
And so VR need to be extremely cautious about what they do and what they don't do, or the luxury brands who are need to have a very tight grip of Irvin marketing. Um, because you know, you still need to, uh, portray that exclusivity in this, uh, you know, everything that goes into luxury marketing. So these people tend to have very strong control.
And that tends to be very strong requirements and guess what? Influencers need to be paid for that. Right? And if it take them twice, as long as you know, to do a collaboration with your brand, as any other brand are going to charge you for it. So there's an element of cost, but there's also an element of return because I agree with you with measure this when the process is too strict, it tends to deteriorate our performance.
The other extreme of a spectrum is influencer does whatever the hell they wants. You know, I don't give them a brief, just send them a product. They can criticize us if they want, uh, you know, they can say good things. We can do a mix of both absolute authenticity. If they say what they want to say, which works in number of the, uh, activation rates are much higher because there's less strings attached. So the brand and the influencers are more likely to say, yes, it's like, again, it's a trade-off right. Uh, but you, you might actually dig your own grave and get some influencers to say some things negative about you, even though you've put in all the work to find them and so on.
I know it's, it's a give and take. My take is you have to get somewhere in between, not necessarily in the middle I'm, I'm still more, um, leaning towards, uh, giving freedom to the influencer. Um, but really tried to find a group, a good middle ground. That makes sense where the influencer can be as genuine as humanly possible, really user voice.
That's what will work best will echo best with their audience. But, well, we'll perform this from a social media perspective. And at the same time, we will not come across as, as a, you know, to marketing, to advertising, uh, as a message.
[00:46:30] Joseph: Yeah, well, there's one caveat in all of that, that I would hope that, uh, you know, as a seller, I would have some control over, which is if I sent it to an influencer and then don't like it, they can tell me that privately, they can provide their feedback, but say, look, if you don't like it, and we would have happy to hear your feedback, but you know, don't say that out loud, you know, we'll, we'll take the feedback privately. I would hope that I can put that on the table.
[00:46:52] Vivien Garnès: So a lot of brands do that. And, uh, that makes a lot of sense. Um, some brands, um, go one step further, which is you're free to say anything negative that you want, but it has to be proportionate. So, you know, if she say, imagine don't say a majority of negative things, but you can throw in, you know, one or two negative things or things that you like less.
And if the rest of the content is mostly a positive, that's actually a good way to bring credibility. In my opinion. Um, you know, it's like when you shop on Amazon, if you have a product that only has five star, it's usually a little suspicious as opposed to something who has 4.7. Yeah. No, I think it brings credibility and again, authenticity and something a little bit more generally.
[00:47:31] Joseph: Right. Okay. Yeah. That makes sense. So, in, uh, in, in, in a summation I'm to say, Hey, look, you know, you can list the pros and if you identify some cons, you can list those too. I think most people are used to. The sitting approach pros and cons list. Um, so again, yeah, I, and I, and I agree it's, it's putting together in my head is look, if it's, if it's pure positivity, Well, seeing it charitably disingenuous.
So it probably helps to have a little bit of, um, uh, of some of, some of the downsides as well, just to, you know, Hey, this is a real product. That's existing real world. Nothing's perfect. We're not perfect. And, and there you go. So. I've only got you for, um, well, that's not too much longer. So there is one, this is more like a backstory question, more something that I'm taking a personal interest in.
Uh, but before I asked you that one, I always want to just give, you know, my guests in situations, such as this chance. Is there anything else about this? Maybe there's a question I hadn't asked or are there any other elements to your, to your business? You want to make sure our audience, uh, takes away today.
[00:48:28] Vivien Garnès: I know, I think you did an excellent job asking the questions.
Uh, one, uh, one may be messaging a bottle. Uh, I can from there. And, um, I'll send you a link if that makes sense to share it in the show notes. But, uh, um, if, uh, any of your listeners are interested in experiments, you would have influenced marketing, uh, that can go on our website of fill-ins dot com booklet demo, and they will speak for a half hour.
One of our experts, uh, they'll get the chance to discuss her objectives or our business, and also look into the product and see if it could be a good fit for them. And, um, and yeah. Uh, a decision that could be a good route to pursue.
[00:49:02] Joseph: Excellent. Well, I appreciate that. I asked that question a few times and I always be like, no, no, you did fine.
You're great. And I'm like, no, I wasn't fishing for that, but I'll take it. Okay. Now here's something that stuck out to me from your profile is cause you went to school for, for entrepreneurship. Correct. Okay. What's distinctive to me is entrepreneurship tends to, and you know, I've talked to a number of people who can back this up is entrepreneurship tends to emerge from a, uh, from a rejection of structure, whether that is school or work, family unit, um, whatever, um, whatever that may be. So to my recollection, You know, above adequate, uh, this is the first time that I've even seen, you know, an entrepreneurship course. So what was the, you know, what was the experience in a structured environment designed to nurture indifference?
[00:49:56] Vivien Garnès: Uh, a tiny bit of context in a friend's business call is five years. You start right out of high school and then you study until your masters. Right. Um, and usually what happens is you do a very generalist business management approach for a first few or three years, and then the last two years specialists. And so I was given the chance to specialize in marketing or in finance, in auditing and control. And all of these sort of usual suspects of the specialization courses, business school, but I'm more of a generalist myself. I didn't want to specialize in any of these. And so what do I do? And it turns out that they had this generalist course where you still do a high level approach to. A lot of different areas of business, but you don't really have to pitch.
And they called it the entrepreneurship course. So I jumped on the opportunity. Plus he was a double degree program with a university in Scotland, in Edinburgh. Uh, so I had the time of my life for a year there. I definitely agree that entrepreneurship comes from some degree of wishing of rejection of, uh, of structure.
Um, I had done internships in the larger companies and I hated every single second of it. Um, I had them, uh, internships in startups in the smallest structures and I had an absolute blast. So I knew sort of what kind of size of an organization I was comfortable in working with. I knew had some entrepreneurial drive had, you know, always had a lot of initiatives as a kid.
Uh, you know, I had a, a mental then. I was managing, I was picking up the phone to book venues and everything. So I sort of had to, you know, in my personality. So I knew I was going to get there. But I want you to get a little bit of experience, uh, first. So that's why I worked for a couple of years, for years, uh, in someone else's startup, uh, and starting to make mistakes on my own on the side.
And then when I felt confident was enough, uh, at the ripe old age of 25, I started.
[00:51:48] Joseph: That clears that up. So, uh, and, and I appreciate, you know, if somebody wants, because I think a lot of people, the fearfulness of going into college or going into university is, well, I don't know what to do yet. I mean, I guess I'll just, uh, I'll just go.
And then they end up specializing something that they don't want to, you know, I know a lot of people that have had to pivot, so to see an environment that actually encourages, you know, stay general, stay loose and just, you know, keep an open mind and, and to have a course that actually, um, uh, supports and nurtures, that is a breath of fresh.
Well, uh, we're going to, we're going to wrap this up. Um, so my final question for you is usually like, Hey, on any parting wisdom, you're welcome to share that. And you are, uh, but I wanted to modify it a little bit specifically for you just because, you know, there's, this is such an emerging field in an emerging field of e-commerce.
So, um, my question to you as well as also, what do you see are some of the next major milestones in influencer marketing or where you see the industry going from here and then. All of that in mind, and then just let the audience know how they can figure out more about what you do.
[00:52:50] Vivien Garnès: I think it's been true for most things in the world of marketing technology and, uh, influencer marketing will be no exception of that.
Uh, number one, it will become even more. Outcome-based number two will become more. That's my, my two predictions, uh, and to, to give them more context around these two, every emerging, new hot marketing channel, usually it's a little bit magic, right? There's very little numbers behind, uh, people just see if it works or not.
And they're not sure what to look after. So, you know, that's, that was sort of the 10 years ago and influencer marketing. Then they started to look at the number of forwards, then a little bit lower in the funnel. I started to look at engagement and now we're starting to look at the conversion. And, you know, how much money am I making?
What's my ROI on this. And they believe it's being, it's still marginal today. And that's something that, uh, financially, uh, specializes on. And we're, uh, one of the very few in the industry to, to do just that. And I believe, um, the rest of the industry will, you know, will demand more and more ROI driven this.
Do you know if that word exists, uh, in the future? So that's the one thing. Um, and if you look at. All the other, you know, companies, uh, In the MarTech space, they ended up going back tropics. The second one is automation. Influencer marketing is still quite labor intensive, even though tools like affluence really streamlined the process.
And you can do a lot more influencer marketing work in a lot less of the time that being said. It's still quite labor intensive. And so, uh, what appliance is working on is really to automate the full process. So it becomes basically a cash generating machine on those pilots. Right? That's very much the end game here.
And again, uh, when you look at companies like Klaviyo, like yotpo or a little bit more in the past to Marketo, Pardot, T Loco, all these companies who had a ton of success there. I added a layer of automation, HubSpot of course, MailChimp the whole added the layer of information to what they did and that's what contributed to our success.
So I, I strongly believe these are two things are going to be extremely important in moving forward.
[00:54:59] Joseph: Well, I just have to say my takeaway from this, uh, is, you know, now that I get to put this piece into the puzzle, is that depending on, you know, what we're talking about, sometimes I'm gung ho about automation.
Sometimes I'm uneasy about it in this case, I'm actually rather enthused about it because. If there is such a personal, uh, element of it, it's, uh, you know, it's one thing to write an ad that tries to appeal to thousands of people. It's another thing to, um, work with another person, another human being. He was trying to appeal to thousands of people.
So to have a lot of, you know, a lot of the work done actually helps make sure that the connections that we are trying to make are the most informed and the thoughtful ones, uh, that, uh, that are good for everybody involved. So that's, that's my takeaway is, uh, is there's a rather optimistic, I must say that's absolutely right.
So once more, I believe that is an affluence. Um, so they can find you probably on the website, it just run through the, the, that your socials, your presences, all of that. And then we'll get you.
[00:55:57] Vivien Garnès: So, um, the website is upfluence.com from there. You'll see all of our company social personal, you can reach out to me, uh, on Quora.
Actually, I'm quite active. I try to answer a lot of questions there, but mostly on LinkedIn, you leave them the only if you didn't garnish on the LinkedIn. So, um, feel free to add your connection, dropping the line, and I'll try my best to translate.
[00:56:16] Joseph: Okay, well, I will send a Micah had to reach out to you on LinkedIn.
I talked to somebody who's been on LinkedIn before and I anyways, so I don't know I have to get over my, my problem with that. That'd be my, my, my, my goal for today. Okay. To my audience. It is an honor and a privilege to collect this information, use it for my own benefit and then share it with all of you.
So with that, thank you so much for your participation, Vivien, it's been a great hour. Great to meet you. Great to talk to you. Great to learn so much from you. So thank you for everything that you've done. And with that take care, we will check in soon.
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